The Dish: Sakerum Opens on 14th Street

New restaurant and lounge inspired by Asian and Latin cuisine.

At a glance, it might look like the hustling 14th and U Street corridor has it all – pizza, tacos, diner food, you name it. But two years ago, , one of Barcode’s owners, recognized a rare void in the D.C. food scene, and put the wheels in motion to fill it. Fast forward to August 22 when the Latin and Asian- inspired Sakerum officially opened and flocks of folks from the District’s nightlife and dining world converged.

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First floor sushi bar and accompanying booths. (Photo by Farrah Skeiky)

This blend of Washingtonians is exactly the crowd that can be expected to frequent the chic new neighborhood staple. Andreou expects visitors take advantage of the “lounge vibe” he has created in the two-story, 3,600 sq.-ft. space that features a sun-soaked upper level with a retractable roof as well as a private dining space. The interior, designed by Swatchroom, was imagined based on inspiration from the East and West. Andreou hopes the atmosphere invites guests to “get a feel of the two cultures coming together.”

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The vibrant second floor seats 90 people (Photo by Farrah Skeiky)

Of the dual concept, Andreou says, “I’ve enjoyed many aspects of  these cultures for a long time; they are both so unique, and yet complement each other very well in our restaurant’s aesthetic and menu.” The nod to each flavor profile is reflected throughout the food menu where a dish like Yaki Tako – grilled octopus seasoned with lemon oil– gets a Latin spin with the addition of orange-mango picante.

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Birdcage lamps hover over the staircase. (Photo by )

The combination works especially well in the cocktail department, spearheaded by mixologist-extraordinaire , where rum and yuzu create a harmonious union amidst a pile of shaved ice and a satisfying sprinkle of nutmeg in “Pirate’s Creed.” If Chersevani’s cleverly- named drinks prove to be too distracting, there is a curated list of sake and rum (as the restaurant’s name would imply) to fall back on. “Our list of spirits has taken a long time to procure because we have worked hard to locate some of the most rare and unique sake and rum we could find,” Andreou says, “Our goal over time is to continue filling our list with only the best.”

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“Girls Adore Me…” and “Pirate’s Creed” cocktails (Photo by Catherine Trifiletti)

Stand by Washingtonians, the best is yet to come!

WHAT TO ORDER:

Spicy Sambal Edamame (and a tall glass of water – spice is the star!)

Tostones: fried plantains with guacamole, grilled corn salsa and wasabi peas.

Double-Fried Shrimp Tempura: shiso chipotle aioli, fresh wasabi and bonito flakes.

Sakerum, 2204 14th Street, NW, 202-518-2222sakerum.com @sakerumdc

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